Key Person System
Every child at Brookside Academy Nursery has an assigned Key Person who will spend exclusive time with them, ensuring they develop a strong relationship with a significant adult in the nursery.
Our key person approach gives every child the reassurance to feel secure and cared for, helping them to become familiar with the nursery environment so they feel confident and safe within it. The key person will engage with you in the “getting to know you” process at nursery and respond sensitively to your child’s needs. They will work with you as parents and carers to understand what is important to you and them, what they need and require to help them settle and thrive within their phase.
They will help your child build relationships with other staff and children at nursery. The key person’s responsibility is to monitor a child’s progress with regular observations to ensure the child’s progress is appropriate for their age. They will ensure that children’s individual interests are included in their weekly and daily planning, so that future activities and experiences will best meet their needs. When a child reaches a certain age they will progress to a new room. Their key person will work closely with other members of staff in the new room to provide reassurance and continuity.
The Key Person will keep you informed of your child`s learning and developments through parent’s evenings, parent passport observations and for younger children information around their personal care, meal times and rest times.
Outdoor Play and Learning
Not all classrooms have four walls or a ceiling or carpet on the floor! Buckets, sticks, rocks, water and dirt are all waiting for us beyond the Nursery door.
At Brookside Nursery we are passionate about the importance of outdoor learning and feel it is essential that all young children are given the opportunity to explore and learn from their outdoor environment.
Outdoor learning involves a skilled practitioner’s knowledge on the current EYFS and utilising the special nature of outdoor to deliver play and learning in an exciting and engaging way.
The benefits of learning outside the classroom are endless. Children’s physical and mental health, self-confidence, emotional, social skills and self-esteem can be fulfilled. We encourage the children to take risks in an appropriate and safe way. To work collaboratively with their peers to problem solve. We embrace all weather, as each changing season is seen as a new opportunity to learn and to build new experiences and skills. Simple things of putting on wellies and jumping in muddy puddles, finding a stick and it magically becomes a wand, feeling snow or ice for the first time, watching the amazing colours of Autumn unfold before their eyes, or just to sit in the sun looking through their favourite book. Being outside allows children to connect with nature to express themselves, gain the whole sensory experience of the warmth of the sun, hear the natural sounds around them, to touch nature with their finger tips and to taste rain drops on their tongues.
We are so lucky to be surrounded by our own piece of paradise, an enriched outdoor space waiting for adventures to unfold.
Our outdoor spaces give the opportunity to explore open-ended resources such as sticks, logs, water, mud, tarpaulin, stones, pebbles and many larger loose parts to stimulate the children’s curiosity and imagination. All our spaces are fully inclusive and accessible and used by our SEN children, babies, toddlers, nursery and pre-school children.
This is open and available all year round, consisting of a large open space offering endless opportunities for physical play. Children enjoy our large sunken sand pit, with open-ended tools to hand. Digging, moving and building helps to build those muscles which are needed to gain control with mark making tools.
A selection of flexible, changing large loose parts encourage our imaginary play and social skills. Our mud kitchen inspires all those who want to be `chefs’ or `potion inventers’.
The planting area encourages a variety of little creatures into our garden. It gives children the opportunity to look at life cycles and to look after and care for living things.
A beautiful mature memorial garden offers us a very calming environment and the planting stimulates all of our senses.
We share a smaller outdoor area with Early Years. This gives us the opportunity to use loose parts and OPAL which mirror their interests. Bikes and ride on vehicles engage us physically and helps with our motor skills and spatial awareness!
Forest school plays a big part in our Nursery Provision. Our sessions offer the chance to take our learning out of the classroom and into the great outdoors, the children are encouraged to explore, create, take managed risks and broaden their horizons beyond the indoor setting.
Our sessions are led by adults and based around the children’s interests, they often follow on from the previous week’s experience of forest school. Children start by sitting at 'base camp' and sharing what the activity is and talking about how we can use the environment to make this happen. The activity could include making houses for the three little pigs, extending mark making by doing bark rubbings or parachute games with autumn leaves. After the activity we encourage the children to explore the area of forest school and use their imagination to take their learning further.
Trips and Visits
We believe that visits in to Nursery and outings play an important in enriching children’s life experiences. As a Nursery team we feel it is important to create links with the local community. Therefore, we take regular walking trips or trips using our 6 seater buses into town for the local market, shops or attractions, to the park to promote physical development and around the local countryside which we are so lucky to be situated by. The children enjoy being outside, seeing members of the community and developing road safety skills. All visits in and out follow our off site guidance and risk assessments.
At Brookside Nursery we have weekly sport/ physical activity sessions – these are led by our two school sports coaches, Mr Ball and Mr Perry. These are planned activities which can be based around the themed book of the week. The sports coaches introduce the story and then encourage the children to engage with a physical activity using lots of different movements. This 30-minute session allows the children to express themselves in different ways, experiment with movement and run off a burst of Monday morning energy.
‘It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading’
At Brookside Nursery we aim to create a language and reading-rich environment which actively promotes children's curiosity, motivation and enjoyment of words and text.
This takes many forms across all Nursery provisions and areas.
All staff are actively talking to and singing regularly with babies, toddlers and older children and inviting and praising their responses. Repetition of our favourite rhymes and songs fosters engagement and familiarity. Books with rhythm and repetition support sound and language recognition and are the building blocks for later positive reading behaviours.
Books with sensory aspects, (textures, related objects and interactive elements such as buttons to press) are used regularly by our teams as they invite exploration of the physical elements of books and emergent skills such as page-turning and physical orientation.
As children develop their speech, our picture books are an essential resource to support the articulation of ideas, imagination, observations, predictions and questions and our staff value children's responses as it helps build self-esteem and a feeling of success. Practitioners use pictures and objects as prompts to explore ideas and model new and interesting vocabulary.
Books are readily available within our new “Hive” Library hub where we are building up a range of books with a variation of purpose, including picture books, books with text, fiction and non-fiction. What children choose may not correspond with adult preferences or expectations but the opportunity to realise children`s own preferences gives us potential to promote richer, deeper language and vocabulary development as in their engagement, children think and talk about, explore and challenge their own ideas.
We give children time to engage with reading behaviours independently, reinforcing the idea that reading is valuable and central to the ethos of the setting. We share regularly share these successes and practices with our parents and carers.
As well as offering term time only provision across our Nursery setting we also offer “Holiday Provision”. Core Nursery staff within each team are employed on all year round contracts to ensure children who attend in the “traditional” school holiday weeks can see familiar faces during these times.
We make the most of the Academy resources and spaces during this time to adapt our provision and give children a range of different experiences. The emphasis for these weeks is on fun themes and special days, creativity and practical hands on activities celebrate active learning at its best.
During these weeks we offer places to children who attend other local nurseries which close in the holidays, thus giving the children opportunities to mix more widely with different peers.
These weeks give parents the option of taster sessions for children who are new to our Nursery as it is quieter in the holidays than in term time.
We are incredibly proud of our all-inclusive approach and environment at Brookside Nursery.
The needs of all children with SEND are overseen by the academy’s SENCo and the Nursery SEND lead who meet weekly to discuss any child who may need additional support or intervention. The nursery provides an inclusive environment for all children to thrive and develop at a level that is appropriate to their needs. All children are actively encouraged to interact and learn from each other and are supported by a specialist key worker and wider team who have a good understanding of additional needs.
The nursery works very closely with colleagues in Specialist Provision and where children may have significant additional needs, staff will often share experiences and expertise to ensure that provision is relevant and of a high quality.
Interventions, such as Attention Autism, has been developed between Specialist Provision and Nursery and both settings share the sensory room. In addition, the Academy is supported by a Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist who can provide advice and support for the nursery team.
Those children with a diagnosis or a care plan from a health agency have an Individual Assess, Plan, Do and Review (APRD) form and this is monitored every half term.